Ireland has been recognised by the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) as having a controlled BSE risk status since 2008. To achieve this status, a number of control measures must be demonstrated effectively for 7 years prior to 2008 and each year thereafter including:
- A ban on the feeding of meat and bone meal to ruminants
- Systematic testing of feed supplies
- Effective rendering processes
- Active and passive animal level surveillance and testing for the disease
- Ante-mortem checks conducted by veterinarians on all animals prior to slaughter to ensure that only healthy animals enter the food chain
- The removal and destruction, on a precautionary basis, of certain specified risk materials from slaughtered animals in line with EU legislation and OIE requirementsThese control measures have resulted in Ireland having an extremely low incidence of BSE, the last classical BSE case was identified in 2015. As a direct result, a number of trading partners have re-opened their beef markets to Irish beef and live cattle. Under OIE rules, Ireland can apply for the lowest risk status available, “negligible BSE risk status” in January 2021.
The number of cattle from Scotland that have entered the state in 2018 currently stands at approximately 170 animals. Ruminant animals can only enter intra-community trade if they comply with the corresponding trade directives.
For bovine animals, the intra-trade certificate includes the following assurance:
The animals come from the holding/s and, where applicable, an approved assembly centre, and the area/s which, in conformity with Union or national legislation, is/are not subject to any prohibitions or restrictions for reasons of animal diseases affecting bovine animals.